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Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? #197196 11/14/10 02:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
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I've been reviewing a number of plans lately, plans for 'small houses.' The author claims that the plans meet IBC standards, but is not an architect.

The typical design will have less than 1000 sq. ft., and the sleeping area will be a loft (not counted in the square footage) that is accessed by a ladder. Or, in some instances, the sleeping area will be a mattress-sized cupboard without any margin around the mattress or additional shelving.

The lofts, I am told, are not considered as 'habitable' on account of the low head clearance and ceiling slopes.

So ... here's the question: would you consider it required to add receptacles (using the '6-ft rule') or a lighting outlet in these areas? WOuld you require AFCI protection? Can we avoid applying these rules in a sleeping area that is not 'habitable?' Or, is it your osition that a sleeping area is, by definition, a habitable space, whatever the layout?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: renosteinke] #197197 11/14/10 02:59 PM
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gfretwell Offline
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The 2008 makes that a moot point. All of the receptacles are going to be AFCI even if you ignore the bedroom aspect.
If that loft is not a separate room it must be part of the living/family/recreation (or whatever you call it) room at the bottom of the ladder.

It could be argued that you should have a receptacle up there, particularly if there was any horizontal space beyond a bed.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: gfretwell] #197198 11/14/10 03:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Obsaleet Offline
Member
I would not think a receptacle would be rquired as this would promote the use of a lamp or (i cringe) space heater. If one were to have a receptacle up there yes to afci, as well as any lighting.

Ob


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: Obsaleet] #197203 11/14/10 05:53 PM
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Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
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If houses get any smaller, we'll all be living outside!


Wood work but can't!
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: Alan Belson] #197206 11/14/10 08:09 PM
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HotLine1 Offline
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Receptacle(s)?? Yes! AFCI?? Yes! Habitable space?? You Bet!

The building guys may have an issue with the ladder.


John
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: HotLine1] #197210 11/14/10 08:45 PM
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renosteinke Offline OP
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It's an interesting twist ... I mean, imagine just a mattress, with but three or four ft. clearence at the highest point, sloping to nothing at the margins of the mattress. Your only access is with a ladder, down to the main roob below - you're sleeping just above that room's ceiling.

If the loft was served by stairs, and had clearance for any manner of furniture, without a doubt it would be a habitable room. As such, the other codes would institute egress requirements.

Then again, where is it written that a home must have a 'bedroom?' Has this designer found a loophole?

Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: renosteinke] #197212 11/14/10 09:06 PM
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gfretwell Offline
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That is why I asked if there was any horizontal space up there that could be called a "floor".

Quote
210.52(A)(1) Spacing. Receptacles shall be installed such that no point measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space is more than 1.8 m (6 ft) from a receptacle outlet.

If there is less than 2 feet of wall along the floor, no receptacle is required.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: renosteinke] #197219 11/15/10 04:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 17
LEO_304E Offline
Member
Originally Posted by renosteinke
It's an interesting twist ... I mean, imagine just a mattress, with but three or four ft. clearence at the highest point, sloping to nothing at the margins of the mattress. Your only access is with a ladder, down to the main roob below - you're sleeping just above that room's ceiling.

If the loft was served by stairs, and had clearance for any manner of furniture, without a doubt it would be a habitable room. As such, the other codes would institute egress requirements.

Then again, where is it written that a home must have a 'bedroom?' Has this designer found a loophole?


If it is a home it has a bed room exchpt in the kitchen so you would need AFCI protection smile

Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: LEO_304E] #197227 11/15/10 09:29 AM
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Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
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Folks usually look at the 'six foot rule" and ponder whether there is enough wall .... here I guess we need to ask whether there's a floor.

Re: Must a Bedroom be a "Habitable" Room? [Re: renosteinke] #197229 11/15/10 09:52 AM
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Posts: 2,233
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harold endean Offline
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I have seen one of these "Loft/rooms" and the HO said it was a play area for their children. (I thought that strange, a play room where kids can fall out of and drop 6'-7' to the floor below.) I asked them to install receptacles as per code, just in case someone wanted to put a small light up there or vacuum the area.

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